The H1B is an American non-immigrant visa which permits American companies to engage workers from overseas to undertake jobs in specialty fields such as those with need technical expertise like architecture, science, medicine and engineering. With this visa type, a US employer is allowed to employ a worker from overseas for a period of up to 6 years. As applying for this visa type is much faster than the application process for a Green Card, this is a very popular visa for employers who need to bring in employees quickly to cover a long-term placement in the United States.
Who Can Apply For An H-1B Visa?
The worker themselves cannot apply for the H-1B visa; it is the responsibility of the employer to petition on the employee’s behalf. There are strict annual caps on the number of employees who may be brought into the country and the employer is permitted to apply for an H-1B visa no more than 6 months before the visa’s actual starting date. Currently, the law permits only 85,000 H-1B visas to be issued in each fiscal year with 65,000 of these being for those engaged in professional and specialty occupations and 20,000 of which are for those with advanced degrees from American universities. Once the cap is reached, no more visa petitions of this type will be accepted for the rest of the year. An employee is eligible to be considered for an H-1B visa if they have a minimum qualification of a Bachelor’s degree or higher. They must also be coming to the country to undertake a role that is unique or complex enough to be performed by someone who is in possession of this level of qualification. The applicant must also have the appropriate registration, certification or state license necessary to carry out the specified job and have undertaken the essential training and education or have significant experience in that field.
How Long Does The H-1B Visa Last For?
This visa is usually granted for a period of up to 3 years; however it is possible to extend it for a period of up to a maximum of 6 years. While it is a non-immigrant visa, this is one of the categories of visa which is recognized as a dual intent visa, and this means that the holder of the H-1B visa is allowed to apply for and be issued with a United States Green Card while they are working in the United States under the H-1B visa. Anyone who has been issued with an H-1B visa and who wants to stay in the United States for a longer period than six years is allowed to apply for a Green Card which will allow them to gain permanent residency in the country. Anyone who does not apply for their Green Card while they are working in America under an H-1B visa will have to reside outside of the United States for a minimum of one year once their initial six year period has expired before being allowed to apply for another H-1B visa.
Can Dependents Come To The US Under An H-1B Visa?
Any applicant who is successful in being issued with an H-1B visa is permitted to bring their spouse and any dependent children who are aged less than 21 years into the United States with them. They will enter the country under the H4 visa category which is the category for dependents. This visa type permits the holder to stay in the United States for as long as the holder of the H-1B visa is still holding their legal status. Although holders of the H4 visa are not permitted to work while they are residing in the United States under this visa type, they are allowed to go to school, get a driving license and open an American bank account while they are living in the country.
What Occupations Are Eligible For The H-1B Visa
There are many occupations which are suitable for the H-1B visa; however they will all be professional level jobs which require the post holder to have specialist knowledge, skills or higher education. Examples of some jobs include:
- IT Professionals
- Healthcare Workers
- Systems Analysts
- Management Consultants
- Market Research Analysts
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H1B Visa Permanent Residency: Are You Eligible?
The path from H1B Visa to US Permanent Residency
The H1B visa allows holders to work in the USA in an approved capacity on a temporary basis, with the potential to apply for US permanent residency at the end of their six-year maximum H-1B period.
What are the eligibility criteria for an H1B visa holder who is seeking permanent residency in the US?
How long have you worked in the US as an H1B visa holder?
Initially granted for three years, there is the possibility of applying for an extension for a further three years.
An application for US permanent residency can only be made once you have worked a complete six years in the US on an H-1B visa.
Do you have a sponsoring employer?
The H1B visa requires that the employer is authorized to employ foreign nationals through the H1B route. This authorisation takes the form of a Labour Condition Application, submitted to and granted by the US Department of Labour.
H1B status and a subsequent Green Card application would be reliant on continued eligible employment by an authorized employer. This could be your current H1B employer or it could be a new employer, but either case they must be qualified to sponsor non-US workers.
Your sponsoring employer files for a Green Card through Employment on your behalf. This submission will include a PERM Labour Certification, an Application for Employment Certification and an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
Are you a preference immigrant worker?
For an H1B visa holder to apply for a Green Card through employment, you must come under one of the following categories:
- First preference immigrant worker (EB1) – one or more of the following must apply:
- Extraordinary ability in the sciences, the arts, education, athletics or business
- Outstanding researcher or professor
- Multi-national executive or manager who meets certain criteria
- Second preference immigrant worker (EB2) – one or more of the following must apply:
- Member of a profession that requires an advanced degree
- Exceptional ability in the sciences, the arts or business
- Seeking a national interest waiver
- Third preference immigrant worker (EB3) – one or more of the following must apply:
- Skilled worker with a minimum of 2 years training or work experience
- Professional (a member of a profession) with a US bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent
- Unskilled worker who is capable of performing unskilled labour that requires less than 2 years training or experience
H1B visa to US permanent residency process
For an H1B visa holder who meets all the eligibility criteria to apply for US permanent residency, the process includes a number of steps to be taken by both you and your sponsoring employer.
PERM Labour Certification
This step is only necessary for EB2 and EB3 Green Card categories.
Your sponsoring employer files a PERM Labour Certification with the Department of Labour (DOL).
The purpose of the PERM Labour Certification is to ensure that the employer will pay a wage deemed to be appropriate to the job, with no detriment to other workers in similar jobs or to the employee. Information must be provided on the job (duties involved, requirements and location). The DOL will then issue a prevailing wage determination. This will form the base salary requirement for the job.
The employer must also show that no US workers are suitable or available for the job by undertaking a recruitment process.
Application for Employment Certification
Once the employer can provide evidence that there are no US workers available to take the job, they file the Application for Employment Certification ETA form 9089.
Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
Once the ETA 9089 has been approved, the employer files an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker form I-140.
The purpose of this form is two-fold. Firstly, it should show that the worker is eligible for a Green Card through employment. Secondly, it should show that the employer can afford to pay the worker the wage advertised in the recruitment process undertaken as part of the PERM process.
Adjustment of Status
Your priority date is the date that USCIS receive the I-140 form. You must wait until your priority date before you can take the next step, which is to apply for Adjustment of Status.
Complete the I-485 form with the following information:
- Full name and any previous names
- Date and place of birth, with details of your citizenship or nationality, current or past
- Your recent immigration history including:
- Passport or travel document details
- Place, date and details of your last arrival into the US
- Status on your form I-94
- Current immigration status
- Application Type or Filing Category: An H1B visa holder seeking a Green Card should tick the ‘Employment-based’ option.
- Past addresses
- Last 5 years’ employment history
- Information about your parents
- Your marital status and history
- Information about your children
- Your biographic information such as your ethnicity and height, etc.
- General eligibility and inadmissibility grounds (e.g. association with certain organisations or groups, or whether you have ever been denied entry into the US)
- Criminal acts and violations
- Security and related information (e.g. whether you have ever been involved in espionage or terrorism)
- Details of any public assistance you have received from the US Government or are likely to need in the future
- Immigration violations
- Removal, unlawful presence, or illegal re-entry after previous immigration violations
- Conduct questions
- Details of any interpreter you may have used to complete your application
- Details of any other person who may have helped you to complete your application, or completed it on your behalf
This form should be filed with any supporting documents. Once filed, an appointment will be arranged for you at your local Application Support Centre so that you can provide your biometrics information (finger prints, photo and signature) to verify your identity and carry out background and security checks.
USCIS will decide whether you should be further interviewed, depending on your individual situation, but if you are asked to attend an interview, you will be questioned on your application and your current circumstances. Make sure that you take originals of any supporting documents submitted as part of your application and your passport or travel document with you to this interview.
The final decision on your application for US permanent residency will be forwarded to you in writing. In the case of a successful application, you will be sent an approval notice and later on, your Green Card.
Do you have a question about a US E Visa? NNU can help!
The H1B visa route to US permanent residency is not always straightforward. It is crucial to ensure you work to the correct timescales and ensure eligibility and that your application documentation is comprehensive and compliant
As specialist US immigration attorneys, we can advise and guide you through the process. For advice from US visa experts, contact us.
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.
An H-1B visa allows employers to sponsor a nonimmigrant by hiring them to work in the United States. Discover how to sponsor an individual here.
By: Sean Peek and Sean Ludwig, Contributors
If you’re having trouble finding the appropriate talent for your business, you may want to consider sponsoring an employee from outside the United States to work for your company.
Employers sometimes have the option of hiring highly educated nonimmigrant workers if they are unable to find workers domestically. Nonimmigrant workers can typically be sponsored for a limited time by an employer through the H-1B visa program, issued under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Though the program provides benefits for both parties, employers should review and consider the program’s terms and conditions before beginning the application process.
Before we go further, an important note: President Trump issued a proclamation in June 2020 that suspended the entry of many H, J, and L temporary workers into the U.S., specifically including H-1B workers. In October 2020, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White halted the implementation of the proclamation with a preliminary injunction and issued an order to resume processing petitions for all of the covered nonimmigrant visa categories. However, the preliminary injunction only applies to members of associations that were plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the proclamation. These associations are:
The preliminary injunction will remain until there is a final ruling regarding the case (or if it is overturned on appeal), so this decision could remain on the books for some time.
What is an H-1B sponsorship?
In order for a company to employ an H-1B worker in the U.S., the employer must petition for that worker to obtain his or her H-1B nonimmigrant visa. In order for the employer to successfully petition for an H-1B worker, the worker must have at least a bachelor’s degree (or the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree), and the position they’re applying for must be in a “specialty occupation” that requires the use of specialized knowledge to perform the job’s duties. Such job positions may be found in areas of specialty such as engineering, law, business, medicine, etc.
Some things to consider about an H-1B sponsorship:
- A nonimmigrant worker that receives an H-1B visa can work in the U.S. for up to three years on an initial grant of status. The employer has the ability to extend the status of that worker for only an additional three years, unless the employer seeks an employment-based green card for that worker while they’re in the U.S. on their H-1B visa.
- Employers must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor wherein the company makes various attestations before it can complete the formal H-1B petition and all of its attendant forms.
- For Cap-Subject H-1B petitions, employers must be cognizant of the fact that they need to utilize the USCIS’s new H-1B registration system before they can submit their formal H-1B petitions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- The employer files all of the petition documentation for the worker and pays for all the fees associated with the petition process.
How to petition for an H-1B worker
Before obtaining an H-1B visa for a nonimmigrant worker, there are a few things that need to be completed and processed. The employer is responsible for paying all the fees associated with the petition process. The fees associated with filing an H-1B petition include a $460 filing fee, and various other additional program fees that your company may be subject to in your petition. These separate, additional fees range between $500 and $4,000, and in most cases, your company will be subject to more than one of these additional fees.
Employers need to review the details of the proposed job to ensure it meets the requirements of the H-1B visa program. The job must require a bachelor’s degree or higher and specialized knowledge in the field of the occupation. They’ll also need to determine the pay rate for the H-1B worker.
Employers that seek to utilize the H-1B program must provide notice to their current employees of the company’s desire to employ H-1B workers. The employer must provide notice to its employees of the company’s pursuit of H-1B workers either by email, electronic bulletin board or printed notice at their worksite. This must occur at least 30 days before the date that the Labor Condition Application (LCA) is filed with the Department of Labor.
In the LCA, the employer must confirm the following:
- The nonimmigrant worker will receive the same, or an amount equal to the pay and benefits of U.S. workers in that type of position.
- Working employees will not be affected by the new hire.
- There has not been, or will not be, a controversy regarding labor conditions or pay at the time of hiring.
The LCA is reviewed within about a week of submission to ensure it was filled out completely and accurately. Once the LCA is approved, employers need to complete a petition packet that includes Form G-28 and Form I-129. This will be submitted to the USCIS upon completion. Employers will receive a Form I-797 Notice of Action if the petition is approved.
The nonimmigrant worker will take a copy of the completed petition with all its forms and apply for their visa with the Department of State. They can do this at a consulate within their home country or at a U.S. embassy. Once the visa is approved, the worker will apply for admission into the U.S. at a port of entry before a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. Employers will follow normal hiring procedures once the worker has been admitted.
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You can go from H1B status to Legal Permanent Residence (green card holder) in the US. Though this is not possible with every type of non-immigrant visa, the H1B visa is a “dual intent visa.” Learn about other Green Cards that are available here. For many non-immigrant visa categories, you have to prove to the consulate abroad that you have non-immigrant intent meaning that your stay in the US is going to be for a temporary period of time. You have to prove that you do not intend to stay in the US permanently and have strong reasons for returning to your home country. You have to convince the consulate that you do not intend to set up a life in the US. As mentioned earlier, you can pursue permanent residence while in the US in H1B status. You can get a green card through family or through employer sponsorship.
Green Card Status – Family Based Green Cards
Under H1B status, you can apply for a green card based on familial relationships with US citizens. This process can occur while you are in the US in H1B status without impacting the H1B status negatively. You can adopt this method if you have a spouse who is a US citizen, a US citizen parent OR a child over age twenty-one who is a US citizen.
Green Card Status – Employment Based Green Cards
To get a green card under this classification, the US employer must offer the employee a permanent job in the US. The employer may be the same employer that sponsored the H-1B visa, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Like the H-1B process, this green card process also requires the employer to file a certification with the Department of Labor prior to filing a petition with USCIS. The process of getting an employment based green card can often be very long. As a result of lengthy processing times, H-1B workers are allowed to extend their status past the six years normally allowed, but only if they have reached a certain stage in the green card process. There are three main steps in the employment-based green card process:
- Labor Certification
- Immigrant Petition
- Adjustment of Status Application (“Green Card” Application)
You are eligible for extensions of H1B status beyond the six-year limit in one-year increments if you are the beneficiary of a Labor Certification that has been pending for at least a year. If you are a H-1B beneficiary who has an approved I-140 Immigrant Petition, but waiting for a visa number to become available before filing for Adjustment of Status, you may get an extension of H-1B status beyond the six-year limit in three-year increments.
Changing from Another Status to H1B Status
If a future employee is already physically present in the US, he/she may apply for H-1B status without leaving the US provided that he/she entered the US legally, never worked in the US illegally, and is still in status. The employer should file a Labor Condition Application and a petition with the USCIS. The H-1B petition filed with USCIS can request a “Change of Status” for the future employee. Once this petition is approved, the employee will have H-1B status. If the employee wishes to leave the US after the change of status is approved, he/she will have to obtain an H-1B visa stamp at a consulate abroad before re-entering the US in H-1B status. >Check out other popular articles on H1B visa:
- How to get an H1B Visa?
- Find out if you can get an H1B Visa Transfer
- Qualifying for H1B Visa
- Understand the H1B Visa Process
June 22, 2020 update: President Trump temporarily suspended several new work visas, including H-1B visas. Read the New York Times article.
Nevada employers may recruit foreigners to work for them in the U.S. by sponsoring them through H-1B visas. Eligible foreigners must have a specialized occupation that requires a college degree. H-1B visas are non-immigrant visas that are valid for a maximum of six (6) years, but it may be possible for the foreigner to stay longer or adjust status to become a lawful permanent resident.
Below our Las Vegas “H-1B Visa” attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about specialized occupation visas in Nevada. Click on a topic to go directly to that section.
For information on other work visa options in Nevada, see our article on employment visas.
1. Can I get an H-1B visa in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Foreigners may be eligible for an H-1B visa if they meet all the following five conditions:
- The foreigner has an employer-employee relationship with the employer petitioning for the visa,
- The job is related to the foreigner’s degrees,
- The job must pay the actual or prevailing wage (whichever is more),
- An H-1B visa number must be available at the time of filing the application (the annual cap is currently 65,000), and
- The job must qualify as a “specialty occupation.”
A “specialty occupation” for H-1B visa purposes must fall under one of the following criteria:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher degree is the typical minimum requirement for the particular job;
- The degree requirement is common for this type of job, or else the job is so unique that it can only be performed by someone holding at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the job;
- The employer normally requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent for the job; or
- The specific duties are so specialized that the knowledge necessary to perform the duties is commonly associated with having a bachelor’s degree (or higher).
Foreigners who get H-1B visas are typically in such specialized fields as scientific research, IT, finance, law, engineering, health care, architecture, math, or biotechnology. In Nevada, some H-1B visa holders work at the Nevada System of Higher Education, Nevada Solar, and Health Plan of Nevada.
H-1B visas versus other employment visas
H-1B visas have fewer prerequisites than EB-1 visas and EB-2 visas, which requires advanced degrees and/or renown in their occupational field. Meanwhile, H-1B visas have higher threshold requirements than EB-3 visas and H-2B visas, which do not necessarily require bachelor’s degrees. And unlike H-1B visas, all EB visas extend automatic green card status.
2. How do I get an H-1B visa?
Much of the H-1B application process lies not with the foreigner but with the U.S. employer petitioning on the foreigner’s behalf to work in the U.S. First, the employer submits a Labor Condition Application to the Department of Labor. Then the employer files an I-129 Form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Once the I-129 petition is approved, the foreigner will get instructions for applying for an H-1B visa. The foreigner may then have to go to a visa interview at his/her local U.S. consulate and give his/her biometrics (fingerprints).
3. How long does it take to get an H-1B visa?
The time frame for getting an H-1B visa varies, but usually between three (3) and six (6) months.
4. How long is an H-1B visa good for?
With some exceptions, an H-1B visa is valid for three (3) years and may be extended for another three (3) years.
5. What does it cost to get an H-1B visa?
The H-1B visa fee is $190.
6. Can my family come with me on an H-1B visa to Las Vegas, Nevada?
Yes, an H-1B visa-holder’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 may accompany the visa-holder to the U.S. But if they want to work while in the U.S., they have to apply for an employment visa.
7. Can I study on an H-1B visa in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Usually, an H-1B visa holder is allowed to go to school as long as the H-1B visa-holder remains employed according to the terms of the visa.
8. Can I leave the U.S. on an H-1B visa?
Usually yes, but it is important that H-1B visa holders keep all the papers and documents with them that they showed Customs and Borders Protection when they first entered the U.S. on the H-1B visa. In today’s political climate, it is never a sure thing that foreign nationals will be able to re-enter the country even with valid visas.
9. Can I get a green card while on an H-1B visa?
Possibly. Although H-1B visas are non-immigrant visas, H-1B visa-holders are allowed to adjust status to lawful permanent residence if their employer agrees to sponsor them.
10. What if I quit or get fired from my job while on an H-1B visa?
The visa-holder may then either find another employer to sponsor his/her H-1B visa, change to a different non-immigrant status, or leave the U.S.
Call a Nevada immigration attorney…
If you are seeking a work visa in Nevada, call our Las Vegas immigration attorneys for a consultation. We will guide you through the process as quickly as efficiently as possible.
You’ve landed the perfect hire, but there’s one minor problem—they need a visa. With U.S. unemployment reaching historic lows, recruiters in all sectors are all looking for overseas talent. Unfortunately, hiring foreign workers is anything but easy.
Since 1975, employers have turned to H-1B visas to recruit highly skilled workers. These visas, valid for a maximum of six years, apply to specialized professionals like scientists, business analysts, engineers, and programmers. Technology companies in particular have a voracious appetite for the visas.
Unlike other visas, it’s the business, not the prospective hire, that is responsible for most of the paperwork. And making matters worse for HR, getting one is anything but a sure thing. Out of the approximately 220,000 businesses that apply, only 85,000 H-1B visas are granted each year.
Don’t know where to start? We don’t blame you—it’s a long process. Below we’ll walk you through it, from the day you’ve identified your hire to their first day in the office.
Step 1. Make sure the job description and salary are eligible.
Timeline: January – Early February
Because H-1B visas are intended for specialized work only, there are certain minimum requirements you’ll need to include as part of the job description. For starters, the position should require at least a bachelor’s degree or a foreign equivalent. Depending on the nature of the role, you may also need to require that the candidate is certified in their profession or has accumulated a certain number of years of experience. This is especially true for roles like physicians, pharmacists, and teachers, where occupational licenses are already required even for U.S. citizens.
Additionally, HR will need to demonstrate that the hire will be paid at the market or “prevailing” rate for the job. Note that annual compensation should not fall below the minimum salary for an H-1B visa holder, which as of this writing is $60,000. This number could potentially change in the near future, as lawmakers are actively considering an increase up to as much as $100,000.
Step 2. Let your current employees know.
Timeline: Late February
You’re legally required to inform current employees of your intention to hire an H-1B worker. While that doesn’t mean announcing it over the building intercom, it does mean displaying a printed announcement at two conspicuous office locations for at least 10 days. Make your life easier by just locating it where you hang the rest of your labor law posters.
Note that the notice should list how many H-1B visas you’re applying for, their respective roles and wages, and the addresses where the individuals will actually be working. There’s also a Department of Labor (DOL) mandated statement you’ll need to include, which reads:
“Complaints alleging misrepresentation of material facts in the labor condition application and/or failure to comply with the terms of the labor condition application may be filed with any office of the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.”
Step 3. Complete DOL and USCIS forms.
With your ducks in a row, it’s time to get the ball rolling with the DOL and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
First, you’ll need to complete a Labor Condition Application (LCA). The form, which can be filed with the DOL for free, includes basic information about your company and the visa applicant. Employers should note that its contents are binding—if the application is approved, you can’t subsequently alter the candidate’s wages, for example. After you review the form (we highly recommend using immigration or employment counsel from this point forward), you’ll need to file it using the DOL’s online iCERT system. You should hear back from the agency within a week.
Once your LCA is confirmed, it’s time to fill out the Form I-129, or Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. This critical form is part of your overall H-1B petition packet, which also includes a copy of the LCA, supporting documentation, and any applicable fees. You’ll pay a minimum of $460 to file the petition. Premium processing, which only takes 15 business days, costs $1,225.
Step 4. File the petition.
Timeline: April 1 (if on a weekend, the following business day)
Spring has sprung, which means it’s finally time to submit your H-1B petition. The USCIS begins accepting applications on April 1, or if that day falls on a weekend, the next business day. This year’s lottery opens on April 2, 2018.
Don’t delay getting your petition in. The application window will only remain open until the agency receives a predetermined number of submissions. Last year, it only took 8 days for 199,000 petitions to come in and for the USCIS to close the lottery. Keep in mind that only 80,000 workers can receive an H-1B each year—meaning your chances of being picked are less than 50 percent. Unless you’ve applied for premium processing, you’ll find out in the next 30-40 days if your petition was approved.
Step 5. Cross the finish line.
If your petition didn’t make the cut, regroup with your attorney to discuss other options. If it was approved, congratulations! Your new hire can start work as of October 1. Before that date, there are just a few housekeeping items to take care of.
If your petition was approved, you should have received a Form 1-797 from the USCIS. Provide this to your new hire and instruct them to visit their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. It’s here that they’ll be issued their H-1B visa (at last!) and then be able to apply for admission into the United States.
Once they start work in October, you’ll then put them through your usual onboarding process. That includes the Form I-9, which at this point should seem like child’s play.
You don’t need to be a political scientist to know that immigration is a hot topic in Washington these days. H-1B visas are just one part of existing immigration law that federal officials are looking to reform. Don’t be caught off guard by changes. Subscribe to Namely’s newsletter and follow all of the latest developments at the federal, state, and local level.
* The content of this publication is provided for informational purposes only and does not contain or constitute legal advice. You should not act on this information without seeking legal counsel.
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New Delhi: H1B Visa allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
The visa holders can stay in US for three years. The duration of stay can be extended to six years.
However, getting the visa is not easy as applicants have to satisfy set of conditions.
Eligibility for H1B Visa
In order to become eligible for an H1B visa, a foreigner must satisfy the following criteria
- He should hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
- Must satisfy the educational qualification required for the job.
Apart from the above eligibility, the sponsor US employer must show that there is a lack of local employees for the post.
How to apply for H1B visa
The applicant should first find job in the US as an H1B visa can be applied by a sponsor employer on behalf of the employee.
After offering a job in a specialty occupation, the employer has to apply for Labour Conditions Approval (LCA). The employer has to submit LCA online.
After the approval of LCA, the employer files a petition i.e., Form I-129. This stage will take around 3-4 months.
Once it is approved, the role of employee comes into picture. The employee has to visit US Embassy in the home country.
Unlike Canada where the applicant’s visa application is approved based on his/her score, in the US, if H1B visa applications exceed the annual visa cap, the lottery system will be followed. In the system, applications are picked randomly.
Holding master’s degree advantageous
In the system, first, applications of master’s degree holders will be picked until the cap on the visa is met. Then applications that are not selected go back to the pool.
These applications along with applications of Bachelor’s degree holders will be picked until the annual cap on the visa is reached.
In this manner, applicants with master’s degree will get two opportunities.
In 2020, the annual cap on H1B visa is 20000.
Importance of employment to continue H1B status
It may be noted that if the employment of the visa holder ends, the person has to leave the US unless he/she is granted change of status or successful finds employer compatible with H1B status.
After the expiry of H1B visa, the foreigner can apply for Green Card. However, it can be done by the sponsor employee.
The sponsor employee has to get PERM Labour Certification before filing Form I-140.
Finally, employee has to file I-485 to get Green Card.
How to get h1b visa.
What Is An H1b Visa?
H1b is a non-immigrant working visa for foreign nationals who wish to work in USA. H1b visa gives authority to foreign national to work in specialized field. Foreign workers should work in specialized field and the US employer should also prove that they could not find anyone of that specialization from USA. The applicant will be sponsored by US employer. The US employer will file the application on behave of the h1b candidate and also send all the related documents to USCIS.
USCIS definition of h1b visa:
This visa category applies to people who wish to perform services:
- In a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project.
- Or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.
For more info please visit. uscis.
How to get h1b visa?
Getting an H1b visa is not that difficult if you follow these steps.
Step 1. You Need to Find a Sponsor.
This is the first criteria to get an H1b visa. This is because you can not apply h1b visa by yourself. Therefore you need a sponsor. The sponsor means, you need to find an employer in the United States who can find an job for you and sponsor your h1b visa.
Step 2. Employer will Submit Labor Conditions Approval (LCA)
After you find your sponsor. The sponsor will have to file LCA for that particular position you will be working. The US employer begins the H1b application process by filing LCA and send the LCA to DOL (Department of Labor). The LCA is filled electronically. The US employer will have to mention the wage and the duration of project in the application. The LCA takes 7 working days to get approved.
Step 3. Employer will Submit Form I-129
Once your LCA gets approved. The next step is filing I-129. I-129 is the petition for non immigrant worker. In this application the employer will have to mention everything like fees, experience, training. They need to attach all the educational documents, applicant’s resume, job contract, client letter etc. Your application will be sent to USCIS office. USCIS will start accepting application from April 1st.
Step 4. Lottery
This is the painful part of h1b visa process. Lottery will be held mostly on 1st week of April in every year. No matter whatever you do, your destiny depends on luck. There are thousands of applications. USCIS will choose 65,000 candidates based on lottery. Your luck is the key player here.
Step 5. Visa Stamping and Interview
Once your application gets approved. This will be the final step in which applicant will go for visa stamping and visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate. Please keep your all documents ready for this. Also go through some h1b visa interview question. Follow this link for h1b visa questions. H1b visa Interview questions and answers 2019 | Quick solutions
For documents and stamping process. Click here.
Two ways to get H1b Visa
Already working outside the USA.
If you think you fall under the category defined by USCIS. You can try for it. As an individual you can not apply for it. You need someone to sponsor you. You should look for companies having subsidiaries in USA.
You should tell while joining that you want go to USA. There are so many small consultancies in India and everywhere in the world who send their employees to USA on h1b visa.
Educational Requirements for H1b visa.
An advance degree or bachelor’s degree must be from an accredited university or college. The degree is necessary to relate to the H-1B specialty position. If your degree was obtained from outside the United States, it must be equivalent to an available U.S. degree.
U.S. Employer Requirements for h1b visa.
Your USA employer must fulfill these below requirements.
- Your US employer should have the funds necessary to pay the foreign professional.
- Your US employer should provide an official job offer.
Work Experience Requirements:
If you have done masters then 1 year of work experience may work for you. But it is always good to have good work experience. If you have done only bachelors then you need to have at least four to five years of work experience in current scenario. If you have more work experience, chances of getting h1b visa will be high.
How to apply for h1b visa?
how to get h1b visa section clearly explains what you should do to get h1b visa. USA gives 65000 h1b visa every year to foreign nationals. If the number of visa applications are more than 65000.
USCIS will use lottery system to allocate visa. If you are lucky, you will get it. Every year around April 5th USCIS accepts visa application for next financial year.
Your consultant or company where you are working currently will file your application. You have to provide your all educational certificates, experience letter and passport details. Your employer will send the application to USCIS.
What is next after h1b visa approval.
If you are lucky enough to get a visa in lucky draw. You will get h1b visa receipt as a proof. It will tell you that your application for h1b visa was picked up in the lottery. And you can go for stamping when you get your original i797 documents. Click this link for more info. I got h1b visa approved whats next.
Can i apply for h1b visa own my on?
As an individual, you can not apply for h1b visa. You need to find a sponsor for you. This is the only way to get h1b visa and enter USA.
To know more about different types of US work visas. Please visit. what are the different types of us work visas.